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You might know that welding skills are a hot commodity in today’s job market. Of course, it’s also useful for hobbyists, mechanics and DIYers.
Welding is an interesting profession because no matter how experienced you are, a new project can throw up all kinds of unexpected challenges which will require innovative approaches.
Last Updated: June 3, 2021
By Gregory Sanders: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding welding books available for those who are interested in learning more about welding. The best 6 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best welding books currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.
Table of Contents
- Best Welding Books for Beginners
- Best Books You’ll Want to Keep on Your Shelf
- Can You Learn From a Book?
Best Welding Books for Beginners
In this section, we’ve selected the best books to read if you’re just starting out on your welding journey.
These books are aimed at welding novices, so experienced welders may not get much value out of some of them. Too basic for you? Feel free to skip ahead to the next section!
#1 - How To Weld (Motorbooks Workshop)
How to Weld from Motorbooks Workshop is an ideal introduction to the field for newbies.
It can also serve as an excellent refresher for experienced welders.
Starting with a brief history of welding, the book also gives an overview of the different types of welding.
It also talks in detail about safety practices.
The book describes various tools and types of metals as well as techniques and types of joints, all illustrated with clear pictures.
Topics covered include gas, stick, wire-feed (MIG and TIG) and brazing.
Each section is completed with a series of exercises that fully illustrates the skills covered.
One of the best features is that the author gives examples of poor welds to help you identify what you are doing wrong and how to correct your work.
#2 - Welding for Dummies
Part of the ever-popular “Dummies” collection.
Welding For Dummies is an accessible and easy to understand guide to welding.
It's also a good reference for veteran welders.
The book contains easy-to-follow guidance with step-by-step instructions for each step, such as how to apply finishing techniques and advice on how to remain safe while welding.
Topics covered include stick, TIG, MIG, and flux-core welding as well as oxyfuel cutting.
Besides a thorough understanding of these subjects, you can get tips on the best welding technique to choose for a specific project and what certifications you can get for welding skills.
#3 - Learn to Weld: Beginning MIG Welding and Metal Fabrication Basics
Learn to Weld is essential reading for the DIYer who wants to start MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding.
It provides step-by-step instructions, learning tools and troubleshooting for repairing, creating and duplicating projects in a home welding studio.
Using step-by-step metalworking photos and tutorials, you can master techniques for cutting, grinding and joining using a MIG welder.
One of the outstanding features is the easy-to-use index for quick reference and troubleshooting.
Topics covered in the start of the book cover the fundamentals like how to set up your studio, use the right safety gear and follow safety procedures, and select the equipment and materials you will need to begin with welding.
#4 - TIG Welding: GTAW Need To Know For Beginners & The Diy Home Shop
The book TIG Welding is a good supplementary text for you if you are attending vocational training in welding.
It is meant to assist you by covering the course material and lab work topics.
Topics covered include shop safety, types of TIG welder machine technology, selecting equipment, material preparation, setups and detailed TIG welding methods.
It's not designed for advanced welders looking for new information.
#5 - Welding Technology Fundamentals
Written at a level suitable for junior high students who are taking welding classes, Welding Technology Fundamentals is a great starter text.
This easy-to-understand book is organized into eight sections.
It covers topics such as oxyfuel gas welding and cutting, shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, flux cored arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, and resistance welding.
The book includes many tables and charts for selecting variables suited for each type of welding.
Well-illustrated and accessible, the text offers plenty of technical information regarding weld inspection and testing, welder qualification, and welding symbols. Important updated safety information concerning fire and electrical hazards is also included.
Best Books You’ll Want to Keep on Your Shelf
For experienced welders, reference texts can be a great refresher and come to the rescue when an unexpected problem crops up.
Rather than remembering all the variables for the various materials and equipment used for welding, having a good reference handy can save you time and money. Here we look at a few such books that every welder should have on their shelf.
#6 - Welding Skills
Welding Skills is a well-written reference which gets straight to the point.
It provides comprehensive coverage of major welding processes, as well as welder-proficiency test requirements, advanced welding process information, and metal identification methods.
The book is well-illustrated with color photos, making it easy to understand and follow.
You’ll familiarize yourself with current welding processes and American Welding Society (AWS) terminology as you go through this text.
#7 - The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding
The Procedure Handbook is considered by many to be the ‘Bible’ of the arc-welding industry.
It is an outstanding reference manual which includes information about welding techniques and procedures along with photographs, drawings and charts.
The text provides descriptions, history, applications and best practices for all forms of arc welding.
This includes submerged arc, SMAW, GTAW, GMAW and dual-shield. As an experienced welder, you will be sure to refer to this book again and again.
#8 - Metals and How To Weld Them
A standard reference, Metals and How To Weld Them was crucial to the foundation of modern welding methods.
It includes information on topics such as crystallography, preheating, heat treating, mechanical properties of metals, filler material selection, and welding process options.
The text is accompanied by diagrams, photos, and charts which depict key ideas such as the characteristics of metals, how different metals change during the welding process, physical chemistry of steel alloys, fundamentals of metallurgy and more.
This reference book will help you determine what welding materials and methods are right for which job and will be a welcome addition to your library.
#9 - Welding: Principles and Applications
Welding: Principles and Applications will help you achieve a basic level of proficiency in welding using a combination of hands-on information with clear explanations of theory.
It covers the procedural and safety information required for welding.
The book is aimed at people interested in pursuing careers as skilled welders and welding supervisors.
It is not as in-depth as some of the other references in this list but does provide the basics you’ll need to understand the field.
#10 - Audel Welding Pocket Reference
The Audel Welding Pocket Reference is a comprehensive reference that covers welding symbols and definitions. If you're ever lost and don't know what a symbol means this reference book has got you covered.
It also covers types of joints and welds, typical welding station configurations, oxygen cylinders, arc-welding charts, US metric measures, and more.
This book is a must-have if you need to know the correct electrodes to use for various metals, for example, or want to review safe cutting practices.
A great book for beginners not quite sure what to use or experienced welders that haven't done a new job.
Can You Learn From a Book?
Technical jobs like welding require a special skill set that comes from hours of both practice and study.
Just as you can’t learn to drive a car from a book alone, you should study welding from books while also getting hands-on training from a professional. This will ensure that you can put your ideas into practice when you’re on a project.
Books are a good reference and provide details, but only after getting some training or attending workshops from trained welders. Safety training is important, so ensure that you learn proper handling of the welder and other tools.
At the beginning of your welding journey, some supervision is important to make sure you don’t develop any dangerous habits that can lead to injury.
Besides the fact that you can learn faster while attending a class, you will see how the pros do it.
As a bonus, you can get feedback on how to improve your welding technique. You can also learn what works and what doesn’t. This will help you avoid expensive mistakes later and save on materials used for testing your technique.
It’s possible to learn the fundamentals from a good reference text, such as how to set up your equipment for different metals, thicknesses and joint types.
Besides getting a good background in welding, you can also learn many industry terms and familiarize yourself with the jargon from good welding books. This way, you’ll be well on your way to impressing your instructors and colleagues with your grasp of how welding is done.
With the right book, you will have access to both the fundamental skills and the confidence you need to create whatever you can imagine.
And if you’re an experienced welder looking to upgrade your skills and need a reference guide for unexpected challenges, some of these books will be a valuable aid.
So what are you waiting for? Get started with upgrading your skills with some of these books!